A St James farmer has been named Citizen of the Year at Moira Shire’s Australia Day Awards Ceremony.
Neil Lonie was inspired to raise money for the Good Friday Appeal after the death of his niece in 2008 and has since raised more than $150 000, including $24 000 last year.
Mr Lonie is a prominent figure in the St James community and surrounds as he is a member of St James Fire Brigade, the Tungamah and Dookie historical societies as well as the St James Recreation Reserve and Hall Committee. He also was the foundation member of the St James Young Farmers group.
Mr Lonie was one of 30 nominated individuals, community events and community groups recognised for their contribution to local communities.
Other winners from the ceremony held on January 18 were Muckatah’s Tristan Grinter, who won Young Citizen of the Year; Rotary Club of Cobram, which won Organisation of the Year; Relay for Life – Oasis Movers & Shakers, which won Event of the Year; and the Trees Please – Conservation Awareness Project which was named Environment Project of the Year.